gmhTODAY 04 gmhToday Sep Oct 2015 - Page 74

For the love of dance … a family tradition D ance is a beautiful art form capable of captivating an audience and guiding them on a dazzling journey. While this is definitely a compo- nent of dance, for teachers like Traci Dalke of Studio Three, it extends far beyond the realm of entertainment. Dance is love, pas- sion, and a teacher of life lessons. For Traci, dancing has been a bit of a family tradition. Her grandmother, mother, and two aunts all loved dance. When Traci started taking lessons at her grandmother’s dance studio in South San Jose, it quickly grew to be her passion and she became the 3rd generation dancer in her family. Traci continued to dance well into her adult life and she taught for her aunts in South San Jose. In 1990, she moved to Gilroy to raise her family. Traci and one of her aunts always talked about opening a studio together, but between having young children and moving to different locations, they could never seem to find the right time. After they’d done so much planning, Traci felt confident that she could handle a business on her own. In 2002, when her youngest daughter was in kindergarten, she opened her first dance studio. Everything went smoothly for Traci at first. She started small, with 30 students her first year. By the second year the number of students doubled and by the third year they had nearly tripled. Business was going great until the recession hit. At the same time everyone was struggling with the economy, developers decided they wanted to demol- 74 ish the building in Traci’s parking lot and build a new development. They walled off the parking lot with a chain link fence and marked the area with demolition signs. When Traci’s customers saw the fence they immediately thought her business had shut down. They stopped coming to class and the following month they didn’t pay. In one fell swoop, Traci lost all of her hard work. It was tough, but she managed to hang in there until her lease was up. Thankfully, Traci had the good fortune of meeting Kat Filice, a creative director for Articulate Solutions, and she hired Kat to make her website. Kat suggested that she look at the downtown area to open up a new studio. After careful consideration, Traci decided that downtown Gilroy was the best place for her to have a fresh start. She saw the area as a very special niche with great potential. “It’s my town, it’s where I raise my family. It’s where everything hap- pens for us,” she explained. At the time Traci first opened Studio Three, many of the businesses we know and enjoy today weren’t there. It was a bit of a struggle changing people’s perceptions of business in the downtown area, but gradually Traci helped turn the tide. As a member of Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, and of the Gilroy Garlic Festival Association, Traci was already well established ][H[][]H[B\ۜ[H][Hܙ]X]۝ۋ] [Y][ۈܙو[]HX[HX\Y\Y\SH8(SԑSS8(SPTSTSPTБT MB[Y\\[\]KH۝ۂ\XH[Y[\\ 8'BY[ZHH[و۝X]Y[HZ[^H]Z[š[H۝ۈ\XH[]B[]HYKY[H[Y[ۙY[]^H[[Z\Y\H[B[\ۛY[\[[H\YK]8&\[\[K8&^KX^XHH[]HH܈H\]\[ۈ\K8&x'BHZY H\ۜXHX\YH[[š\\[\\HH[YHۙ\H[š[\\ۈ\Y[Έ]XY][[Z\\ܚˈ8'[H\]H[\]Y][\[[\[8'HBZY Y\Y[[]^H]H[Bو[]ܝ ۙ\K[ܙX]]]K[HۛH\X\\Y]B]]ˈܛ[\ [H\[^\•Xx&\]XH܈XXH[[K\š\HY[[]H\[X]\Y[[]^H[Y\[[˜\Z\]] ]\^HH\BYH[H\H\Y\܈^H[HY\[] H\ۙY[][H[[^\˜YHXZ\]\[YH^KXx&\ݙHو[H[وXX[]\[۝[YH]H\]\BۜX]YK8'x&[Hۜ[HX\[ۜ[H[[8'HHZY X]\\HH\[H[HH]\[[œ\Hو[\][ۈ܈[\][ۜYKZ^KBܚ][Hܞ\[[